- From dear (adjadjective: Describes a noun or pronoun--for example, "a tall girl," "an interesting book," "a big house."):
- adj comparative
- adj superlative
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
dear1 /dɪr/USA pronunciation
adj., -er, -est, n., adv., interj. adj.
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
- (used as a conventional greeting or in the salutation of a letter as an expression of respect, friendship, etc.):Dear Sir or Madam. My dear friends.
precious:The burglars had taken our dearest possessions.
earnest:He had no dearer wish.
- expensive:Tomatoes were dear in the winter.
- a kind or generous person:You're a dear to look after the children.
- a beloved one:Come here, my dears, and give your granddaddy a big hug.
- Sex and Genderan affectionate or familiar term of address (sometimes considered offensive when used to a stranger, subordinate, etc.)
dear•ness, n. [uncountable]
- ( used as an exclamation of surprise, distress, etc.) :Oh dear, I've lost the phone number.
(dēr),USA pronunciation adj., -er, -est, n., adv., interj. adj.
- beloved or loved:a dear friend.
- (used in the salutation of a letter as an expression of affection or respect or as a conventional greeting):Dear Sir.
- precious in one's regard;
cherished:our dearest possessions.
earnest:one's dearest wish.
expensive:The silk dress was too dear.
- charging high prices:That shop is too dear for my budget.
high:a dear price to pay for one's independence.
- [Obs.]difficult to get;
- a person who is good, kind, or generous:You're a dear to help me with the work.
- a beloved one.
- Sex and Gender(sometimes cap.) an affectionate or familiar term of address (sometimes offensive when used to a stranger, subordinate, etc.)
- at a high price:That painting cost me dear.
- (used as an exclamation of surprise, distress, etc.):Oh dear, what a disappointment! Dear me! What's all that noise?
- bef. 900; Middle English dere, Old English dēore; cognate with Old High German tiuri, Old Norse dȳrr
(dēr),USA pronunciation adj., -er, -est. [Archaic.]
- 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged darling, cherished.
- 5.See corresponding entry in Unabridged See expensive.
- Middle English dere, Old English dēor brave, bold, severe bef. 1000
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
dear /dɪə/ adj
- beloved; precious
- used in conventional forms of address preceding a title or name, as in Dear Sir or my dear Mr Smith
- (postpositive) followed by to: important; close: a wish dear to her heart
- highly priced
- charging high prices
- appealing or pretty: what a dear little ring!
- for dear life ⇒ urgently or with extreme vigour or desperation
- used in exclamations of surprise or dismay, such as Oh dear! and dear me!
- (often used in direct address) someone regarded with affection and tenderness; darling
Etymology: Old English dēore; related to Old Norse dӯrrˈdearness n
- dearly: his errors have cost him dear
'dearest' also found in these entries (note: many are not synonyms or translations):